Welcome to Fusion Festival 2020 (3:44)

Maruhabaa! My name is Jimzeena and I am here to welcome you to Southern Cross University’s annual Fusion Festival. This Festival aims to acknowledge and celebrate our diverse communities. It is an opportunity for us to share in music, food and art, culture and language.

I invite you to explore the online festival – check out the cookbook with recipes from all over the world, the photography exhibition and the daily events.

Fusion Festival holds a special place in my heart. Not only because I have been involved in organising the festival for a number of years now; bringing together the diverse communities of our campus regions; but because I was also here for the very first one nearly 12 years ago when I was a student at our Lismore campus and the Fusion Festival helped me connect with the University community in a way that has had a lasting impact on my life. I felt welcomed and celebrated and learned so much from and about people who have come from all over the world and from different parts of Australia.

I am very proud of my own culture, because it is a big part of who I am. It influences my thinking, how I use language, the relationships I have with people, and of course in my cooking.

So, I can never express just how amazing it is that Southern Cross University creates this opportunity for everyone to share their culture.

Now, I would like to introduce one of our International Students Olivia – who is saying hello all the way from Taipei in Taiwan.

Hi everyone. I’m Olivia. I’m studying a Bachelor of Business in Hospitality Management. I was studying at the Gold Coast campus; but unfortunately, after I came back to Taiwan for a holiday, I wasn’t able to return to Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. So, I’m now completing my studies online.

Taiwan is an Island nation in East Asia. It is a Mandarin speaking country with a lot of foreign residents. The original culture in Taiwan is deeply affected by Han nationality, and most of the traditional festivals are based on religion.

The three major religious traditions in Taiwan are Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism and, many of the temples in Taiwan are a fusion of all three traditions. The culture of Taiwan reflects its peoples’ heritage, history and environment. I am so happy I can share a little bit of my culture and tradition with everyone because of the Fusion Festival.

Festivals have long played a major role in Taiwanese society – there are 2 to 3 festivals each month! I’m very excited to be involved in organising the Fusion Festival as part of completing my Work Integrated Learning placement with the Student Equity & Inclusion team. I have enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the Southern Cross University community, even though I am away in Taiwan.

I’m looking forward to celebrating Fusion Festival with you. You can join in the festival by attending online events from 24 to 28 August. I encourage you to also check out the cookbook, and the online photography exhibition.

Happy Fusion Festival!